Reality Check: Bitcoin Plays A Bit Role In Terror Financing

Is bitcoin really the preferred currency of terrorists? You might think so from reading some of the mainstream media headlines. But a recent intergovernmental study on terrorist financing paints a very different picture.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based, intergovernmental body that develops policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering, terrorist financing and fatf-logo-enfinancing of weapons of mass destruction, recently released a report called Emerging Terrorist Financing Risks. There is a small section in the report about virtual currency as a tool for this financing, but the 48-page report says foreign terrorist groups are primarily using traditional methods such as private donations, self-funding and criminal activities to raise funds. It says new payment technologies pose an emerging vulnerability that may increase over time, but the prevalence of these technologies by terrorist groups is not clear at present.

The report’s purpose is to analyze recently-identified terrorist financing methods. It claims that understanding how terrorists manage

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